Best Biscuits in the U.S.

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
Photo: Photo © Huoy Chen

The secret to perfect biscuits is hotly contested: Lard or butter? Milk or buttermilk? Baking powder or soda? (Or both?) Every Southern home cook has an opinion, but these days, chefs from all over the country are joining in the conversation, digging through old church cookbooks and grandma's recipe box to find the perfect version. Served simply with butter and jam, or as vehicles for fried chicken, sausage or sawmill gravy, these flaky little numbers are all delicious. —Anna Watson Carl

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Hominy Grill

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Hominy Grill
Photo © Squire Fox

The James Beard Award–winning chef Robert Stehling’s extra-tender high-rise biscuit is known as the best in town (and no wonder—he makes it using a mixture of butter, shortening and lard). Have it with an egg, covered in sausage gravy, or order the Big Nasty: a fried chicken breast between biscuit halves, with cheddar cheese and gravy.

Hominy Grill, 207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC, 843-937-0930

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The Dutch

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: The Dutch
Photo © American Flavor

Biscuits in Soho? Yes. At Andrew Carmellini’s pan-American restaurant, a sublimely tasty version—tall, fluffy and slightly crisp on the outside—straddles the line between a dessert and a side thanks to its dousing of honey butter sauce. Order them on their own or with the hot fried chicken at brunch.

The Dutch, 131 Sullivan St. New York, NY, 212-677-6200

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Loveless Cafe

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Loveless Cafe
Photo Courtesy of Loveless Cafe

No trip to Nashville would be complete without a stop at Loveless Café for the famously feather-light buttermilk biscuits, house-smoked country ham and red-eye gravy. Served warm with homemade jams, the star attraction has been made using the same secret recipe since 1951 (reportedly involving Martha White flour and Purity buttermilk). Lines are a given on weekend, but running out is not an issue: They make between 4,000 and 7,000 biscuits a day.

Loveless Café, 8400 TN-100, Nashville, TN, 615-646-9700

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Pine State Biscuits

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Pine State Biscuits
Photo © David Reamer Photography

What started out in 2006 as a humble biscuit stand opened by three friends from North Carolina at the PSU farmers’ market has grown into a full-on breakfast institution with a brick-and-mortar location. Lines form on the weekends for the gigantic buttermilk biscuit sandwiches, most notably the Reggie Deluxe: fried chicken, bacon and cheese, doused with gravy (sausage or mushroom) and topped with a fried egg.

Pine State Biscuits, Multiple locations in Portland, OR

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Nashville: Husk Nashville

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Husk Nashville
Photo Courtesy of Husk Nashville

Pastry chef Lisa Donovan says the secret to her tall, perfectly flaky biscuits (served regularly at her pop-up Buttermilk Road Sunday Suppers) is a combination of Cruze buttermilk, a hot cast-iron skillet, and a recipe inspired by biscuit queen Edna Lewis. At the newly opened Husk, she frequently makes her biscuits with minced parsley, to serve alongside Sean Brock’s fire-roasted bone marrow appetizer.

Husk Nashville, 37 Rutledge St, Nashville, TN, 615-256-6565

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Big Bad Breakfast

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Big Bad Breakfast
Photo Courtesy of Big Bad Breakfast

Chef John Currence makes his fluffy buttermilk biscuits with a mixture of extra-cold butter and shortening and just a touch of sugar. His must-try dish is the Cathead, a biscuit sandwich piled with a choice of house-smoked sausage, bacon, country ham or fried chicken, and topped with a slice of cheddar. The name comes from a Southern term for biscuits baked as big as a cat’s head.

Big Bad Breakfast, 719 N Lamar Blvd, Oxford, MS, 662-236-2666

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Rise Biscuit and Donuts

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Rise Biscuit and Donuts
Photo Courtesy of Rise Biscuits and Donut

Before opening his tiny biscuit and doughnut shop in 2012, chef Tom Ferguson drove cross-country to sample the best of both comfort foods, and came back inspired. His huge, flaky biscuits are served with unusual combinations of local toppings like fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, or Big Spoon Roasters peanut butter with Farmer’s Daughter jam. Daily sandwich specials (coq au vin, country-fried steak with gravy) usually sell out early.

Rise Biscuits and Donuts, 8200 Renaissance Pkwy, Durham, NC, 919-248-2992

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Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

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Photo © Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

This cozy, year-old Logan Square pie shop doesn’t claim to sell Southern-style biscuits. Owners Dave and Megan Miller and Michael Ciapciak created a dense, buttery, sour cream–based Midwest version, served warm from the oven with an assortment of house-made spreads like black pepper honey butter and blueberry lavender jam.

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, 4947 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL, 773-530-9020

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Pies 'n' Thighs

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Pies 'n' Thighs
Photo © Winnie Au

Sarah Sanneh, one of the three owners of this cult Williamsburg café, makes her buttermilk biscuits with pastry flour and lots of butter, then glazes them with cream and egg before baking. Every order of fried chicken comes with one of these beauties, and the biscuit sandwiches are over the top. The chicken biscuit—a breaded and fried chicken breast assaulted by hot sauce and smothered in honey butter—is the perfect sweet-savory-spicy combo.

Pies 'n' Thighs 166 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY, 347-529-6090

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Dot’s Diner

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Dot’s Diner
Photo Courtesy of Dot's Diner

This 30-year-old diner is a Boulder mainstay (popular with both tourists and hippies) and is known for its tender buttermilk biscuits, made in regular and gluten-free versions. Regulars swear by the A.M. sandwich: a warm biscuit filled with a scrambled egg, melted cheddar, and a choice of ham, avocado or vegetarian sausage.

Dot's Diner, 2716 28th St, Boulder, CO, 303-449-1323

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Sweet Cheeks Q

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Sweet Cheeks Q
Photo © Michael Diskin

Top Chef alumna Tiffani Faison makes fantastic barbecue at her Southern-style restaurant, but her gigantic, flaky biscuits—served with honey butter—are the real showstoppers. The demand for these biscuits has been so huge that she recently added a second, biscuits-only oven to keep up with the lunch rush and deliveries.

Sweet Cheeks Q, 1381 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 617-266-1300

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Devil’s Teeth Baking Company

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Devil’s Teeth Baking Company
Photo Courtesy of Devil's Baking Company

Hilary Passman Cherniss left a law career to open her tiny Outer Sunset bakery in 2011. Located just four blocks from the beach (and named for one of the rocky Farallon Islands you can see in the distance), the bakery serves all manner of baked goods, but the breakfast sandwich is exceptional. The warm, flaky buttermilk biscuit topped with two scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and applewood-smoked bacon is the perfect post-surfing treat.

Devil's Teeth Baking Company, 3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA, 415-683-5533

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Tasty n Sons

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Tasty n Sons
Photo © David Reamer Photography

Chef John Gorham’s popular Portland eatery serves a daily brunch with two types of biscuits: a lightly sweetened, scone-like variety, with seasonal fruit compote and whipped cream, and a flaky buttermilk one, topped with a crispy fried chicken breast, a slice of cheddar and a fried egg.

Tasty n Sons, 3808 N Williams Ave C, Portland, OR, 503-621-1400

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Biscuit Bitch

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Biscuit Bitch
Photo © Kimmie Spice

Self-described “Biscuit Bitch” Kim Allen started serving homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy to feed the late-night bar crowd at Rena Poppell’s Caffé Lieto. Despite the tongue-in-cheek names like Hot Mess Bitch (biscuits and gravy with eggs, garlic cheese grits, grilled Louisiana hot links and jalapeños) and Buttered-Up Bitch (biscuit with butter and honey, jam, maple peanut butter or Nutella), these light, flaky biscuits are the real deal. Two years later, she’s still serving her late-night breakfast on weekends (until 2:30 a.m.), but has added a daily (morning) breakfast with vegan and gluten-free offerings to boot.

Biscuit Bitch, 1909 1st Ave, Seattle, WA, 206-441-7999

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Serious Pie & Biscuit

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Serious Pie & Biscuit
Photo Courtesy of Serious Pie & Biscuit

Local star chef Tom Douglas’s fluffy, square buttermilk biscuits are ideal for sandwiches. The Zach—with fried chicken, Tabasco black pepper gravy, bacon and an egg—is one of the most popular biscuit combos, though the warm biscuits are delicious on their own or with the incredible bacon butter.

Serious Pie & Biscuit, 316 Virginia St, Seattle, WA, 206-838-7388

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Dante’s Kitchen

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Dante’s Kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Dante's Kitchen

Though they’re only available during a no-reservations weekend brunch, locals rave about chef Eman Loubier’s light-as-air buttermilk biscuits, topped with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce cut with savory demiglace and pork “debris,” which is Cajun-braised pulled pork with peppers, tomatoes and onions.

Dante's Kitchen, 736 Dante St, New Orleans, LA, 504-861-3121

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Biscuits + Groovy

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Biscuits + Groovy
Photo Courtesy of Biscuits + Groovy

Music-loving entrepreneur Jon Lach began selling his vegan biscuits (made with homemade vegan buttermilk) and gravies from a retro food truck in Hyde Park in 2011. The concept was an instant success. Today, Lach serves vegan originals and non-vegan versions of breakfast dishes like the Johnny Hash (biscuits with gravy, cheese, sausage, bacon, potatoes and chives) and the Gloria Gaynor (biscuits topped with three eggs, two cheeses, bacon, sausage, jalapeños and chives, and smothered in gravy).

Biscuits + Groovy, Multiple locations in Austin, TX

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Manhattan Beach Post

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Los Angeles: Manhattan Beach Post
Photo © Rick Poon

David LeFevre’s crispy bacon cheddar biscuits have quite a following. Oozing with cheddar and spiked with crispy bits of pork, these savory delicacies are on the menu morning and night, served with a side of house-made maple butter. They’re also delicious in an ultimate Benedict, topped with poached eggs, arugula, prosciutto and hollandaise.

Manhattan Beach Post, 1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA, 310-545-5405

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Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Denver: Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café
Photo © Seth Rubin

North Carolina–native Seth Rubin was homesick for the flaky buttermilk biscuits of his childhood, so he decided to start making his own. His two cafes (open until just 1 p.m.) serve coffee and from-scratch North Carolina–style biscuits, including a daily flavor like Brie basil or pineapple sage. Don’t miss the sandwiches (named for North Carolina cities) and the decadently delicious biscuit cinnamon rolls.
Rise & Shine Biscuit Kitchen & Café, 5126 W 29th Ave, Denver, CO, 720-855-0540

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Blackberry Farm

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Blackberry Farm
Photo © Beall + Thomas Photography

Located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, guests at Sam Beall’s luxurious inn awake to freshly baked biscuits (made from White Lily flour, cold shortening and Cruze buttermilk) served with sweet sorghum butter, and farm preserves, or if you prefer, creamy sausage gravy.

Blackberry Farm, 1471 W Millers Cove Rd, Walland, TN, 865-984-8166

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The Silver Skillet

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: The Silver Skillet
Photo © Justin Lai

Family-owned and -operated since 1967, this cozy diner hasn’t changed much in the past 46 years. The warm, fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuits (two for $2) are considered some of the best in town–order them with skillet-cooked country ham, red-eye gravy and a side of grits for a true Southern breakfast.

The Silver Skillet, 200 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA, 404-874-1388

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Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

Best Biscuits in the U.S.: Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
Photo © Huoy Chen

This Chapel Hill mainstay has been serving golden, flaky biscuits (using owner David Allen’s grandmother’s recipe) from a drive-through window since 1978. By the time the window opens at 6 a.m., there’s usually a line of cars waiting. You can order your biscuit with bacon and egg, sausage, steak or even a pork chop, though the most popular is fried chicken with cheddar.

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen, 1305 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC, 919-933-1324

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